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July 16, 2013

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs Joins Forces with Libraries to Fight Battle Against Childhood Obesity

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs today announced a partnership with the Texas Library Association to provide all public libraries and more than 1,100 public elementary schools with nutrition and fitness-related books and DVDs geared to children and pre-teens in the fight against obesity.

The partnership is part of the Comptroller’s efforts to boost awareness of the agency’s legislatively mandated Reshaping Texas Web portal — a comprehensive statewide collection of resources and information to help Texans address the economic effects of obesity. Besides books and DVDs, the Comptroller is also supplying free sports equipment to public schools in areas identified as being at high risk for obesity.

“Our goal is to raise awareness and understanding about the importance of healthy habits throughout life,” Combs said. “Libraries serve the most critical role of any entity in empowering people with the information they need. They offer many resources to help improve family health and fitness.”

The Web portal, www.ReshapingTexas.org, is a result of legislation which charged the Comptroller with collecting research and information on the economic effects of obesity and areas in which children are at risk.

According to studies, one in three Texas children is overweight or obese, including almost half of the state’s Hispanic children.

“For most children, being overweight or obese is the result of unhealthy eating patterns and too little physical activity,” Combs said. “Innovative policies and practices can reach children while they are still young, reversing unhealthy weight trends and preventing weight gain in the first place.”

The Comptroller’s office will order and distribute free of charge more than 15,000 books and DVDs to be distributed to all 910 Texas public libraries and more than 1,100 select public elementary schools in August and September. The libraries include 588 main locations and their 322 branch locations, located in 248 of Texas’ 254 counties. (The counties that do not have public libraries reporting to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission are Loving, Glasscock, Delta, McMullen, Roberts and Borden.)

The sports equipment will go to students in the fifth through eighth grades at more than 3,500 schools.

For a complete listing of the book titles and DVDs, go to www.reshapingtexas.org/content/reshaping-texas-books-libraries.

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